William Kraner

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William (Bill) Kraner was born March 29, 1937 and grew up in a lower class area of Columbus, Ohio. At age 18 Mr. Kraner enlisted in the U.S. Navy and trained as a journalist during his 4 years there. In the early 60’s Mr. Kraner became interested in real estate, buying and restoring 2 homes in German Village. From there his real estate investments expanded and were very profitable.[1] After 10 years, Mr. Kraner’s development company was in the top 20 in the nation in apartments, shopping centers and motels.[2] Other lucrative investments by Kraner included the purchase of 6 Levi’s stores which he later sold just in time before Levi’s brand products began to be sold by mass merchandisers.[3] He also found a lot of financial success through his management company Kraco Industries, which is the parent company for Kraner’s business enterprises. His businesses included plastic manufacturing, natural gas and oil production, and the Newark Tool & Die Company, among others. [4]

In 1973 Mr. Kraner acquired 700 acres on which he built the home for himself, his wife and their two daughters as well as Stoney Creek Stables where the breeding and training of harness-racing horses takes place. He has had horses compete and win at Scioto Downs Race Track.[5]

Mr. Kraner has demonstrated multiple acts of generosity, both large and small, that include paying off the mortgage and back taxes for a family whose daughter was very ill, causing them to go bankrupt; co-founding Welsh Hills School and giving them a house on his farm to hold the school; and purchasing a wheelchair for a crippled girl he just happened to see on crutches. [6]

In July 2001 the William C. Kraner Nature Center opened as part of the Licking Park District next to the Taft Reserve. Mr. Kraner donated money that helped to buy the 150 acres and the building that houses the Nature Center.[7]



Tony Reynolds
  1. John Roberts, “Bill Kraner: Master of the Game,” The Legend Magazine, January 1995, Vol. 3, Issue 1.
  2. Jim Wharton, “Welcome to Kraner’s World,” The Advocate, August 4, 1985.
  3. Paul Rolfes, “The Man from Stoney Creek Farm,” The Columbus Dispatch, October 6, 1985.
  4. Roberts, “Bill Kraner: Master of the Game.”
  5. David Stewart, “Mystery Man: Kraner Discusses Secrets to Success,” The Advocate, April 30, 1989.
  6. Roberts, “Bill Kraner: Master of the Game.”
  7. L.B. Whyde, “Digging Story,” The Advocate, April 27, 2003.